Once again, Jewish Passover Week (April 10 to April 18) coincides with Easter Sunday (April 16).
Thirty-six years ago, President Ronald Reagan issued a statement on Good Friday, April 17, 1981, honoring both faiths. Today, when religious liberty is under legal assault within our borders and violent assault in many lands, we can take sustenance from the words of our 40th president:
“This weekend, people across the world will join in holy celebrations, drawing spiritual sustenance from their worship. Here in America, religious beliefs are central to our founding principles. We draw special strength from our unity as a people who trust in God, and from the lessons for us and our children in our rituals.
“Saturday night, Jewish people everywhere will sit with their families and friends for the celebration of Passover — a celebration of freedom.
“Beginning with the traditional Seder meal, Passover is rich with tradition and symbolism. Its observance reminds us that the fight for freedom and the battle against oppression, waged by Jews throughout their history, is one of which all free people are a part.
“Beginning today and culminating on Sunday morning, Christians will celebrate with their families the resurrection of Christ, His victory over death. We will remember that He gave His body and His blood — washing clean the faults and the shortcomings of the world. In our rejoicing we will renew the hope that is ours through the risen Lord.
“Nancy joins me in extending to all who celebrate Passover or Easter our warmest wishes for a time filled with joy and spiritual fulfillment and our hope that one day men and women everywhere will be able to worship God in the manner of their choosing.”
Sadly, that’s not the case in many other countries, which should make us even more grateful for the God-given rights we have in America to practice our faith freely.
All of us here at the ACRU wish everyone a safe, joyful and inspirational Holy Week.